DFP Header Area

O’Driscoll fit and ready for Ulster

Guinness PRO12 Editor

15 May 2012

Brian O'Driscoll returned for Leinster but failed to make it a winning one as the Ospreys ran out 23-22 victors in Dublin

Brian O’Driscoll is back fighting fit and insists Leinster will not be taking RaboDirect PRO12 rivals Ulster lightly when the Heineken Cup final gets underway on Saturday.

The 33-year-old centre sat out Leinster’s RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final win against Glasgow last weekend in preparation for Saturday’s Twickenham showpiece.

But having declared himself fit for action the Ireland skipper now has his sights firmly set on a date with destiny.

Leinster are looking to become the first side to win three Heineken Cups in four years and O’Driscoll is adamant that Ulster are more than capable of upsetting the form book.

“I don’t think we have been allowed to be complacent at any stage this year and the coaching staff, led by Joe, have been great,” he said.

“We have never focused beyond the game in hand, even last week there was absolutely no talk about the Heieneken Cup, it was only about the RaboDirect PRO12.

“It’s only this week that we have started to talk about Ulster and to do our video work so complacency is not going to be an issue.

“All bets are off when you get to a final, anything can happen as we saw last year so the form that any side brings into a final is irrelevant in a lot of cases.

“Brian McLaughlin and David Humphreys have done a great job in progressing the Ulster squad.

“There’s a nice mixture of experience, with the South African contingent, big players like Stephen Ferris and Rory Best and then their younger guys who have really stood up to the plate this year.”

Indeed it is Ulster’s strength in depth that has seen them make their first Heineken Cup final since they won the whole thing back in 1999.

And with O’Driscoll rested for last weekend’s domestic win over Glasgow few know better than the Irish legend how important it is to keep a squad fresh.

“Ulster have a much greater strength in depth now and if you want to be a competitive side in Europe and the Rabo you have to be able to play 30-35 players in both competitions,” he added.

“I probably will not train fully until Thursday, but you pull out all the stops when it’s Heineken Cup final week and I fully expect to play on Saturday.”